Meet Bunny Blanc, a very exciting new addition to my collection.
She is a Mattel doll from the Ever After High brand, and definitely something different for me.
Ever After High?
Until recently, I knew next to nothing about Ever After High. I had seen the logo somewhere, but I assumed it was a part of the Monster High brand (because they are undead… so they live for-ever after..?). Then I saw an EAH doll for the first time at Christmas, because my niece received Apple White from the series as a gift. When I asked about her, my sister-in-law explained that the character was the daughter of Snow White, at which point I assumed it had something to do with the Disney film ‘Descendants’. It doesn’t, strictly speaking.
Ever After High is not licensed by Disney, but Mattel is no doubt counting on us making the association – EAH dolls are introduced by their packages as the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, the son of Alice, the daughter of Beauty and the Beast, etc. Perhaps the Disney fan in me should be offended at such cunning, but it’s not. I applaud Mattel’s intelligence in basing their characters on traditional fairytales, as everyone is free to do, but implicitly invoking a Disney feel. More importantly, I think they are simply doing a wonderful job design-wise. According to the article “The $500 Million Battle Over Disney’s Princesses: How Hasbro grabbed the lucrative Disney doll business from Mattel” the move to create Ever After High was apparently forced by the loss of Disney princess license. Unlike the author of the article, I believe that the limiting circumstances worked out for good and fostered unique creativity. Disney princesses may indeed be better from Hasbro, but their (sort of illegitimate) offspring shines coming from Mattel!
Back to Bunny…
I pretty much had no interest in dolls other than the Animators’ Collection until I saw an online photo of Bunny Blanc in her basic rendition. She was unlike any other doll I’d ever seen with her smart look mixed with a steampunk feel. Soon I knew I wanted her. Sometime at the begging of May I saw her in a local toy shop and took her home with me.
You may have to take my word for it, but the box states that she is the daughter of the White Rabbit – presumably the one from Alice in Wonderland. I do not want to know how that happened, but I do like the result.
Writings on the box are not the only thing which makes the product available in these parts of Europe (Poland in my case) different from what I initially saw online. On the negative side, the doll is missing the collar and pink scarf piece seen in the drawing, which does appear in the original release. That is sad news, but I decided to buy the doll anyway. On the more positive side – while many people find the doll’s eyes wonky – and I can see why – but I wonder if perhaps my version is somewhat less crazy-eyed, if not perfect. What do you think?
You may have noticed that her hair looks different in the above photo and in the box. Straight out of the box it was stiff and sticky, but thankfully it’s very easy to get in order. Just wash and let dry, no styling required.
I love many of the details on this doll. I think it was the boots that captured my attention at first. Whatever I could say, this picture will say it better:
I will comment on the details, though. Notice how intricate they are. The white part is textured like leather, and the black part has numbers printed on it. The heel is sculpted like an hourglass. Both shoes are topped with bunny tails. My localised version doesn’t have them painted white as it should, but it’s OK, I’ll take care of that.
Her other accessories are related to the theme of time as well. Her purse is a clock, and in fact, the only way you can tell that it’s a purse is by the zipper on top. (Also note the key in the background below- it’s a brush. Most EAH dolls come with one of these.)
There is a clock on Bunny’s top hat too. The hat is attached to a headband with bunny ears. I’m not sure if the ears are a fashion accessory or if they are supposed to be genuine, living bunny ears in the doll world. The hat has the same design as the shoes.
I half-expected that the clock being gold all over is another omission, but it’s not. In fact, it’s the same even in the Ever After High cartoon. Nonetheless, I am tempted to repaint it to give it more detail.
Time and clocks imagery is also present in the dress:
I like the colours. They complement the blacks and whites, but without disrupting the smart look. The skirt is asymmetrical- longer on the left, shorter on the right. It all consists of one piece – the skirt, the top and the vest are all connected.
I love her gloves and cuffs – so smart, so cute! The fingers look very graceful. One of the cuffs has a watch attached. It’s another element which I’m tempted to paint, but I am concerned it might overcrowd the outfit with too much detail.
Another feature which I’m very excited about is the doll’s articulation. She is articulated all over! Even her knees twist to the sides. The only part which I could imagine being articulated but isn’t is her waist. So much posability creates a lot of creative possibility in photography 🙂
The doll can’t stand on her own – unless you balance her very, very carefully and stop breathing in her proximity, but she comes with a nice-looking stand.
In short, I love the design of this doll. There are many wonderful details – almost too many, yet they work together in a fantastically whimsical way. The colours are so much different from what you usually see on play dolls, more mature, but not at all boring. She ins’t perhaps the most versatile model for sewing due to her statement accessories – bold boots and black gloves, but perhaps as in the case of Mattel, the limitations may prove to be a springboard to unique ideas. That, or I can swap her hands and accessories with another EAH doll 🙂
I was about to finish the photo session with some more creative photos featuring Bunny, but, alas, my camera broke in the process! This is by no means the doll’s fault, though 🙂 My camera, the Fuji XF1, has unfortunately been known to be susceptible to a lens control error. It’s the second time it has happened to this camera, unfortunately this time it’s no longer on warranty 😦 But fear not, I can’t live without a camera, so I’ve already found a replacement. This means there will definitely be more photos, of Bunny Blanc and otherwise.
Look at the time! I’ve got to go 🙂